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Groom Formal Wear

groomThe bridal gown is always a hot topic of discussion surrounding a wedding regarding its colour, length, style, accessories etc but what about the groom?  For many men this may be the first (and last) time that they would be required to wear a formal suit, so how would we expect them to know which fit and cut of suit would best suit their body type? 

Most men will be sent off by their bride-to-be to the nearest bridal shop or tailors with instructions on the colour of the suit only (to match the brides colour scheme of course).  For those men out there who don't want to aimlessly wonder through the store not knowing which type of suit is best suited to them there are a few simple rules to follow, and some to avoid for each body shape.

Short and Slim Body Types

Avoid double breasted jackets; a single breasted will suit your body type best.  The jacket should be a short length as a long length will only draw attention to the body's dimensions.  A two or three buttoned suit jacket with a low button stance will give the appearance of elongating and lengthening the body, along with giving a triangular appearance, broadening the shoulders and narrowing the waist.  Pleated trousers will give a good effect with them being worn high on the waist with the leg extending down over the foot, emphasizing overall body length.  Teaming a striped shirt with the suit will also give a lengthening effect.

Short and Broad Body Types

The jacket should be single breasted, with one or two buttons that close at the waistline is ideal.  Choose a vest underneath the jacket instead of a cummerbund as vests help hide a thick waistline whereas a cummerbund will draw attention to it.  Padded shoulders will also draw attention away from the waistline.  If you have broad shoulders then avoid double breasted jackets as they will accentuate the broadness of your shoulders.

Tall and Thin Body Types

This body shape is lucky as virtually all suit options will suit.  For very thin body types a double breasted jacket with shoulder pads will be the better option as it will broaden the shoulders.  Double breasted two button jackets are more appropriate for the taller body type.  Spread collars and wider lapels will enhance the groom's physique by adding width to the appropriate places, balancing the overall look and providing extra horizontal dimensions.   Trousers should taper gently down the leg and be of a full cut.

Tall and Fleshy Body Types

Again, virtually all suit options will suit this body shape.  The only thing to avoid is cummerbunds as these will highlight your waist whereas the better option of a vest will hide the waistline.

Athletic Body Types

This body type should avoid double breasted jackets and pleated shirts as they will add bulk.  Clean lines without any frills and suit that creates balance between the broad chest, shoulders and lower half of the body is better suited.  A two buttoned jacket is perfect, creating balance especially when accompanied by flap pockets and extra sized lapels.  Full cut trousers should be worn high on the waist.  Pinstripes look stunning with an athletic physique.

Suit Styles

Whether the suit chosen is ready made or tailored to fit, the main consideration should be comfort.  Ensure that the fit is correct on the neck and shoulders and that shirtsleeves are one and a half inch below the jacket sleeve.  Have your neck measured and the correct collar size selected for your shirt as nobody wants to see the groom red in the face and pulling at his neck.

Following is a quick guide on styles of suits and helping hints for different body types.

Single breasted (one or two button)

Will suit almost all body types.  Taller men should opt for a two button jacket whereas a shorter man should go for the one button.  This is down to the proportions, the more shirt that shows, the longer the visual line, which in turn makes the wearer appear taller.  In general the taller and narrower the wearer the higher the buttons should be, both on the jacket and vest.

Single Breasted (Three or Four Button)

Unbroken lines, slim fit and high buttoning makes this style of jacket look fantastic on tall slim men.  However, this style should be avoided by barrel chested or larger body types.

Double Breasted

morning suitThis style is best suited to a generously sized groom as it can help in hiding expanded waistlines.

Traditional Morning Coat (Cutaway)

The swallowtail shape of this jacket will suit nearly all body types.  It will create the look of extra height on short body types.


This can be very unflattering on short or rounder body types due to the severe break between the front and back of this highly formal tuxedo.  However, with the right body proportions such as long legs a much smaller man could be suited to this style.

Peaked Lapel

This is best suited to the shorter body type and it will give the appearance of the body looking longer as it draws the eyes up and out.  It is also suited to the taller body type.

High Vest

bow tieThis can be teamed perfectly with the higher buttoning, such as a single breasted three or four button jacket as it suits tall slim men.  An athletic body type should feel free to go wild with colour, whereas if a groom with a larger or broad upper torso body type should opt for more muted colours.

Low Vest

As with the high vest, tall and athletic body types can go for almost any colour vest whereas muted colours should be chosen for the larger or broad torso.  Overall the low vest works well on all body types but beware that a very low vest can end up looking like a belly sling.

Mandarin/Banded Collar

Thick, short or heavy necked body types should avoid this collar as it will just look like he is being choked.

For some reason men generally don't like clothes shopping, and shopping for a suit for a once in a lifetime occasion is really quite stressful, so hopefully the above brief guide will relieve some of the tensions and stressed related to important outfits and give them a starting point so that they too can feel comfortable and look fabulous on what is, also, their special day.